This course is an applied introduction to statistical methods commonly used in educational, social, and health sciences. Coverage of data types, data base creation, data exploration and visualization; use of statistical software to compute descriptive and inferential statistics, including correlation, regression, group comparisons (t-tests, ANOVA), and categorical methods.
Essential Questions for this Course:
This is a lecture and applied skills course. Before each class, students will be required to read the assigned reading and watch any assigned lectures. Students will be expected to demonstrate their learning via classroom participation, assignments, and examinations. The purpose of the class lectures is to elaborate on interesting or difficult material presented in the text, conduct skill-building exercises and demonstrations, and to provide a forum for discussion.
You should make every attempt to be at every class session. The activities, discussions, and demonstrations are designed to help you apply the material so that you can use it later on. Furthermore, the class activities will be essential for you to meet the requirements of some of the assignments in this course. However, as human beings, we occassionally get sick or have extenuating circumstances. If possible, make arrangements to obtain information covered in the course.
You are expected to participate in class activities and discussions. Research demonstrates that the quality of the classroom environment depends on the interaction of the students and the teacher. This class will be highly interactive and discussion-based. I believe if you give the effort to learn the material, you can gain analytic skills that will benefit you throughout your life.
Finally, you are expected to read and watch any assigned course material and have become familiar with course assignments. This preparation will make class time valuable and productive; otherwise, class assignments and examinations will be more difficult and time consuming.
I. Discussions, 30% of grade
By design, in-class lectures are to enhance your understanding and experience with statistical concepts, rather than present them the first time. It is of upmost importance that students read and watch the material PRIOR to the designated lecture, as well as read through the associated homework assignment. This ensures class time may be more valuably spent on answering questions and preparing students for assignments. To facilitate this, a discussion point of the assigned readings is due on the day the material is covered in class before the lecture time begins. This discussion point is to be posted on canvas and should include a summary of ideas from the readings, questions that you have regarding the material, or ways in which you can use the material in your research. Further, each student must respond to at least one other student’s point.
Discussion posts will be turned in electronically by 4:00 pm on the due date (see course schedule) via CANVAS, but preferably much earlier so as to allow fellow students to comment on or answer your discussion post.
These can be printed out and used as notes for the lectures and the exams.
II. Research Portfolio, 20% of grade
An important aspect of this course is discovering how statistics are used in your field. You will need to find one research article in your field that uses one of the techniques covered in the class. For example, for the first one due we cover hypothesis tests so you could find an article that used at least one hypothesis test. This is due periodically (at the same time as the exams, see below). The assignment will include turning in the article with 3 - 5 bullet points about their methods (anything interesting, new, or weird that you saw). We will occassionally discuss these in class.
III. Final Project, 20% of grade
Each class we will do an application of the material presented in the pre-recorded lecture using real-world (or fake-world) data. The final project is the combination of all of these in-class applications into a single document (Word, Google Docs, etc.) with the Jamovi output, interpretation of the output, and other notes you take. This will be due at the end of the course. This, of course, requires that you attend class and follow along on your own computer or take detailed notes so that you can replicate it later. The structure of the final project will have sections based on the Week of the class (e.g., Week 1, Week 2) followed by the output, interpretation, and other notes.
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with a complete document with information that you can use to guide you in any future work with statistics and Jamovi.
IV. Examinations, 30% of grade
Four equally weighted examinations will be given during this course. Examinations will be given OUTSIDE OF CLASS and will generally require less than 60 minutes. In order to avoid you needing to take the exam at the Testing Center, they will be given via Canvas using a tool known as Proctorio. Proctorio will record you taking your exam and will highlight any instances it believes you could be cheating. The benefit to using this approach is that you can take the exam any day during the week (Monday to Friday), whenever you feel is best. To use Proctorio, you will need to install the Proctorio Chrome Extension (only need to install once) and then take each exam in the Chrome browser.
Examinations will cover material discussed in class, in the pre-recorded lectures, AND in the readings. All formulas needed will be provided on examinations (unless noted during examination reviews). Applicable statistical tables will also be provided where necessary. Calculators may be used, but not any electronic device that may transmit/receive, such as cell phones, iPods, tables, etc.
ALL EXAMS ARE REQUIRED: NO scores will be dropped. Examinations will consist of multiple choice questions and output interpretations. You may use your notes and homework during examinations.
NOTE: Each example is not technically comprehensive but will definitely rely on information from previous exams.
The standard grade breakdown used by Utah State University will be followed to assign the student a letter grade. The final percentage will be determined by dividing the student’s total points earned by the total number of possible points:
|A-||90 - 92%|
|B+||87 - 89%|
|B||83 - 86%|
|B-||80 - 82%|
|C+||77 - 79%|
|C||73 - 76%|
|C-||70 - 72%|
|D||60 - 69%|
Many of you will learn to appreciate, and may even develop a deep interest in, statistical analysis over the course of our semester together. I hope that you do as the skills you will acquire in this course will benefit you in many ways. You will see that statistical methods are tools in the social scientist’s toolkit, which will help you to better interpret and understand the applied research of your given field and will be of great value to you in conducting your own research.
However, I understand that many of you are concerned about any math required in the course. Although statistics is a branch of mathematics, in this applied course we keep the level of mathematics to a bare minimum. So, please do not let a fear of mathematics prevent you from excelling in this course. Some of you may also fear work on the computer. The practice of modern statistics relies almost exclusively on computer software. We utilize a new, free software that simplifies the use of the computer in statistics known as Jamovi. If you are familiar with Excel or any other spreadsheet service, Jamovi will be fairly natural to start using.
In addition to Jamovi, we will use some basic spreadsheet tools (Excel or Google Sheets will work great) to do some of the data work for us. Ultimately, this class is not a mathematics or a computer programming class but rather it is focused on helping you appreciate the basics of quantitative research so that you can best use it in your respective careers.
A final word of warning: Beware of technology misbehaving near deadlines. All assignments are to be turned in before the strict deadlines. Additionally, most assignments require some use of Jamovi or other software to complete them. It is never reliable to count on technology to come through at the last minute.
In this course, we will use Jamovi for the computation. It is a blend between Microsoft Excel and IBM’s SPSS. The reason this software was chosen for this class is because:
Jamovi can be downloaded from https://www.jamovi.org/. Again, it is free and works on PC, Mac, and Linux systems.
Changes in Assignments and Schedule:
The instructor reserves the right to make changes to this syllabus at any time. Changes will be announced in class and posted on Canvas.
Children in class:
Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. It is expected that all students will make all efforts to keep the classroom an inclusive environment.
Note: I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.
Students Needing Assistance with the English Language:
Several assignments in this course require English composition. If you feel you need assistance, please visit the USU Writing Center. They have tutors available to help: http://writingcenter.usu.edu.
Academic Integrity - “The Honor System”:
Each student has the right and duty to pursue his or her academic experience free of dishonesty. The Honor System is designed to establish the higher level of conduct expected and required of all Utah State University students.
The Honor Pledge: To enhance the learning environment at Utah State University and to develop student academic integrity, each student agrees to the following Honor Pledge: “I pledge, on my honor, to conduct myself with the foremost level of academic integrity .” A student who lives by the Honor Pledge is a student who does more than not cheat, falsify, or plagiarize. A student who lives by the Honor Pledge:
The vast majority of USU’s students follow these guidelines.
Plagiarism includes knowingly “representing, by paraphrase or direct quotation, the published or unpublished work of another person as one’s own in any academic exercise or activity without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged used ofmaterials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.” The penalties for plagiarism are severe. They include warning or reprimand, grade adjustment, probation, suspension, expulsion, withholding of transcripts, denial or revocation of degrees, and referral to psychological counseling.
Sexual harassment is defined by the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as any “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” If you feel you are a victim of sexual harassment, you may talk to or file a complaint with the Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Office located in Old Main, Room 161, or call the AA/EEO Office at 797-1266
Students with Disabilities:
Reasonable accommodation will be provided for all persons with disabilities in order to ensure equal participation within the program. If a student has a disability that will likely require some accommodation by the instructor, the student must contact the instructor and document the disability through the Disability Resource Center (797-2444), preferably during the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking of examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by the instructor.
Withdrawal Policy and “I” Grade Policy:
Students are required to complete all courses for which they are registered by the end of the semester. In some cases, a student may be unable to complete all of the coursework because of extenuating circumstances, but not due to poor performance or to retain financial aid. In such cases an ‘I’ will be submitted as the grade for the semester. The term ‘extenuating’ circumstances includes: